Chinese medical experts head to West Africa to help battle Ebola with aid worth HK$37.7 million

Chinese experts will work with local health workers marking first time Beijing has offered assistance to foreign nations in a global medical emergency

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 August, 2014, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 August, 2014, 12:02pm

Teams of Chinese medical experts headed for West Africa on Sunday to bring medical supplies and humanitarian aid worth 30 million yuan (HK$37.7 million) to countries suffering from an outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed nearly 1,000 people.

Three teams of Chinese disease control expert teams will arrive in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on Monday to aid efforts to contain and prevent and the outbreak, Xinhua said.

The medical supplies are mostly for personal protection, disinfection and treatment.

Each team contains one epidemiologist and two specialists in disinfection and protection from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), who will work with local doctors.

Chinese experts will also work with local health workers, and through Chinese embassies to distribute relief supplies.

The arrival of fresh manpower will bolster a skeleton staff of Chinese medical experts that are already working in the West African states.

The aid marks the first time Beijing has offered assistance to foreign nations in a global medical emergency.

A person struck down with Ebola-like symptoms in Toronto earlier tested negative for the virus, according to Ontario’s health chiefs. The patient had travelled to Nigeria, which is under a state of emergency from the outbreak, with signs of flu-like symptoms and fever.

Meanwhile in India, medical officials ruled out a suspected case of Ebola in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had alerted New Delhi to the suspected case, sparking a two-day manhunt for man whose actual place of residence was different from one he gave to immigration officials.

In India’s capital, where 45,000 people from four Ebola-hit countries live, the case has highlighted the challenges of finding suspected cases in crowded cities.

More than 1,000 people have died of Ebola, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WHO warned on Friday that the disease is now a public health emergency of international concern and called for a coordinated international response to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola.